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In this issue:

SOP Update Training: Don't Lose Your Certification!
Computer Tip
Septic Awareness Week Wrap-Up
WCOWMA-BC Install Day
Upcoming Training Events 
Events Calendar
...and more!

Septic Awareness Week

This is the fourth year the Association hosted Septic Sense webinars for homeowners to bring their attention to the importance of using Certified Contractors and to operate the maintain their septic systems properly. This initiative, which is held in conjunction with the USEPA Septic Smart Week, was started under the WCOWMA umbrella and since that time Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia have joined the four western provinces in hosting public education webinars during the week. 

Over 225 people registered to attend the numerous workshops we hosted throughout the week. Feedback was excellent and those who attended really appreciated the information they received. We have sent a follow-up survey to make next year an even bigger success! 

Regional Districts and municipalities in any of the Western provinces are welcome to contact WCOWMA to arrange a Septic Sense Workshop in their area.


The WCOWMA websites feature a Locate-A-Pro tab where our members are listed by the type of work they do, and the region they work in. This is an excellent resource for those looking for their services. For homeowners it is a great way to find an installer or maintenance provider; for those working in the industry it’s a great place to find a manufacturer or supplier.

If you are a member of WCOWMA-BC, you should be listed in Locate-a-Pro. Why not take a minute to review your listing? If you see any errors, please let us know so we can ensure your listing is up-to-date.

CIPHI Convention

SOWMA will host a trade show booth at the 13th Annual CIPHI (The Canadian Institute of Public Health Inspectors) Convention in Regina on October 4-5. The Association will provide a presentation on the current survey being performed at the request of SK Ministry of Health, review industry challenges such as changes to design due supply constraints, and discuss some gaps in the understanding of the SOWDG, etc. 

Industry Survey – Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan Ministry of Health has reached out to SOWMA to gather information from industry as they undertake a review of the Private Sewage Works Regulation and the Shoreline Pollution Control Regulation.

A survey of this nature was first undertaken in 2017/2018 and that data was used to inform changes that the industry was hoping to see in the regulatory framework at the same time the 2018 Saskatchewan Onsite Wastewater Disposal Guide was released, however the regulations were not updated in conjunction with the release of the SOWDG as had been expected.

Unfortunately, once COVID became the primary focus, work on the regulatory framework for private sewage was set aside.  That work is now being revived and a survey will help to determine the state of the industry in the four years since the new SOWDG was released.

SOWMA will be contacting its members and industry stakeholders to participate in this short survey throughout September 2022. 

Website Changes Forthcoming

WCOWMA and its provincial chapters are undergoing some long-overdue updates to our websites. The website build is coming along nicely and we will be moving from the ‘construction’ phase to the ‘editing’ phase in the next couple of weeks.

Once the sites are fully reconstructed, they will be made live. We are very excited about the coming changes, which should provide a better interface and a more satisfactory user experience for both members and the general public. The new website will feature enhanced member resources as well as an expanded homeowner section. 

Applying for a Permit in the Saskatoon Area

The Saskatoon office of the Saskatchewan Health Authority released a letter on June 10, 2022 regarding the Onsite Wastewater Disposal Guide, November 2018.

The information in the letter is pertinent to all contractors who design and install onsite wastewater systems in Saskatchewan as they are all operating under the same provincial regulatory framework.

Please ensure you have read and understand the letter. 

Download the letter now.

Join the WCOWMA Facebook Group

We've expanded beyond pages! Come join the group, chat with other  people in the industry, and stay up-to-date with WCOWMA news. 
Scholarship Application Period Open

The Alf Durnie Education and Research Scholarship Fund was developed in memory of Alf Durnie, Technical Administrator, Private Sewage Systems (Chief Inspector), Province of Alberta.

Alf’s work focused on the private sewage discipline from 1996 to September 2016. He led the development of technical standards for private sewage systems, the development and implementation of programs for the management of onsite systems and provided interpretation of standards. Alf led the development of the Alberta Private Sewage Systems Standard of Practice and its supporting handbook, which substantially improved the quality and standard of onsite wastewater treatment and dispersal in the Province of Alberta. The success of the process and extensive stakeholder input used in developing the standard and handbook was recognized by a Premier’s Award of Excellence.

Alf has made many contacts across Canada and was recognized provincially, nationally and internationally as a subject matter expert in onsite wastewater management. He was a leader in the effort to establish a National Canadian Standards for Onsite Sewage Systems.

Alf worked closely with the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts & Counties as they developed a Model Process for the Consideration of Subdivisions that Rely on Private Sewage Systems. He often dealt with issues involving land use and planning in municipalities as they relate to wastewater management.

In the course of his work life, Alf served on and chaired many committees addressing onsite wastewater issues including rainwater recapture and wastewater recapture and reuse.

The Alf Durnie Education and Research Scholarship Fund will be directed towards:

a) Students who are enrolled and accepted in a post-secondary program or are within the returning years of their respective full-time programs. Preference will be given to applicants who are enrolled in programs that will benefit the onsite wastewater industry. Some examples of qualifying programs are: Environmental Studies, Public Health Enforcement, Wastewater Treatment, Civil Engineering, Plumbing, Water Technology, Soils Science (Agrology), Onsite Wastewater or a Heavy Equipment Construction Program.

b) Graduate students engaged in research focused on onsite wastewater treatment and dispersal, environmental management, hydrogeology or a related research topic

The Alberta Onsite Wastewater Management Association (AOWMA) is sponsoring one annual education and research scholarship award to support students who are enrolled in a post-secondary program and are within the returning years of their respective fulltime programs.
The value of the annual scholarship is:
  • University Award $2000
  • College or Technical School/Technical Program Award: $1500
Learn more here.

Alberta SOP Update Opportunities 

Opportunities are now available to participate in the Standard of Practice Update Training. This two-day training is now required for those wishing to maintain their Certificate of Competency in Private Sewage (PSDS ticket). 

The AOWMA training was developed in consultation with Alberta Municipal Affairs. It is a two day program covering the changes to the Standard of Practice and reviewing the application of those Standards to onsite wastewater systems. Participants can take Day 1 and Day 2 back-to-back, or they may complete Day 1 during one session and return for Day 2 at another time if that is more convenient.

October 3-4, 2022 | Virtual Classroom
October 11-12, 2022 | Virtual Classroom
October 18-19, 2022 | Virtual Classroom
October 26-27, 2022 | Edmonton, AB

Register online now

If you complete your SOP training through the AOWMA, we will automatically update your information to show you are still certified. If you have taken the training elsewhere, please notify us, otherwise your listing will be updated to show you are no longer certified. 

Update from Municipal Affairs 

Alberta Municipal Affairs has now extended the date by which people need to have completed their SOP Update training.  Although Certificates of Competency will expire by October 31, as long as the contractor has completed their update by the end of February 2023, their CoC will be reinstated.

Alberta Standard of Practice Manuals

Print copies of the new Standard of Practice Manuals are available through the AOWMA storefront.

Students who order the SOP training and the SOP manual at the same time can save on shipping. 

Digital copies can be downloaded from the Safety Codes Council

Site and Soil Evaluation Days

WCOWMA's provincial chapters hosted Site and Soils Workshops across the Western provinces.

These practical training days are a great opportunity to get hands-on experience evaluating a site, as well as practicing hand texturing and sampling. 

Site and soil evaluation fields days were held on September 30 in Nelson, BC and Saskatoon, SK. Both sites are ‘live’ which means that they will have systems installed on them relatively soon; likely in the next installation system.
The Association appreciates being allowed access to sites to provide this field training. Thank you to Cam Whitehead (Nelson), and Larry Grozell (Saskatoon) for allowing us to provide training on your sites.

Install Training Field Days

Learn more about the design and installation of a combined treatment and dispersal system, review the results from a site and soils evaluation along with the plan for the system; utilize the plan to construct the soil treatment area and assist with the installation of tankage.

This two-day workshop will focus on the design and installation of an onsite wastewater system based on the flows from the facility being served and the in-situ soils ability to treat and disperse the effluent. A site and soil evaluation day has been held for this property and all needed information has been gathered.

The system to be installed is a combined treatment and dispersal system (System O (Advanced EnviroSeptic) as requested by the homeowner. This system is suitable for the in-situ soils on the property.

The expected outcomes for this training workshop are listed below, and a registration form is attached. You may register for this hands-on training by email or online at Please contact the WCOWMA-BC office with any questions you may have.

October 20 & 21, 2022 | Kamloops (Monte Creek), BC
Register online | Download a Registration Form

Onsite Wastewater Practitioner Training

The Western Canada Onsite Wastewater Management Association provides an excellent industry training program for Onsite Wastewater Professionals throughout Western Canada.

This training program has been found to meet or exceed the requirements of the Agreement on Internal Trade, the Trade, Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement, and the New West Partnership.

Training, including the number of days, varies by province. More details on each program can be found on the provincial training pages, or by contacting our office.

Students will be required to complete an online training component prior to attending the classroom sessions.

Dates to be Announced

Contact the association office at 1-855-872-2645 for more information.
January 6, 7, 13, 14, & 20, 2022
January 21, 27, 28, February 3 & 4, 2022

Contact the association office at 855-872-2650 for more information.

November 1 - 4, 2022
November 15 - 18, 2022

Register online or contact the association office at 877-489-7471 for more information.  

Manitoba students are being directed to Alberta or Saskatchewan for participation in their training programs at this time.
Contact the association office at 855-872-2659 for more information.  

Provincial/Federal Job Grants Continue to be Available for Training

The Provincial associations have all been receiving training applicants who are being funded by the various federal/provincial job grants that are currently available.  

Funding varies between the provinces, but can be upwards of $10,000 per applicant. Employers may have to pay a portion of the tuition and training must involve more than 24 hours of contact/study.

For more information on the job grants in your province, click on the appropriate link below: 


British Columbia


Manitoba (NEW!) 

Upcoming Industry Events

You can keep up-to-date on industry events on our events pages:

British Columbia
SK CIPHI Convention
October 4 - 5, 2022
Regina, SK

Customer Service Week
October 3 - 7, 2022

NOWRA Mega-Conference
October 30 - November 2, 2022
Springfield, MO

World Toilet Day
November 19, 2022
World Soil Day
December 5, 2022

Septic Con
January 27 - 28, 2023
Tacoma, WA

February 20 - 23, 2023
Indianapolis, IN

WCOWMA-BC Convention & Trade Show
March 2 - 4, 2023
Nanaimo, BC

Computer Tip

How to Clean Your Keyboard

Food crumbs, pet hair, dust and other debris. No one wants those in their keyboard, so what to do? 

For External Keyboards
Unplug the keyboard from the computer or power it off if it's wireless. Tilt the keyboard upside down and shake out any loose debris. Next, use spray compressed air at an angle, about one inch away from the keys. Finally, use a damp microfiber cloth to wipe off any remaining dust or grime. 

For Laptops
Ensure the device is powered down and unplugged. Tilt the laptop upside down and gently shake out any loose debris. Set the laptop back down, and use compressed air to spray between the keys. Spray in short bursts, holding the can about one inch away. 

Inspirational Message

“No matter how long you've travelled in the wrong direction, you can always turn around.”

                -  Anonymous

Find us on Facebook

Stay up-to-date on industry news, learn about our latest training sessions, and check out photos of some of our events all on our Facebook pages!

AOWMA Facebook page
WCOWMA-BC Facebook page
SOWMA Facebook page
MOWMA Facebook page
WCOWMA Facebook page
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